BEAVER Nelson’s cover wink might well be a knowing one, with that open eye on the album’s bookends. For the onetime Austin wunderkind who took almost ten years to release his debut, opening with a song titled “Overnight Sensation” is a nicely ironic touch. The same can be said for the album-ending “Move Along (Show’s Over)”; we’re not buying that notion from the resilient Nelson for a second. (And musically speaking, in a world where “Reason To Believe” didn’t exist, “Move Along (Show’s Over)” would be the perfect closer for Rod Stewart’s Every Picture Tells A Story.)
In between, Nelson continues to do what’s served him well on his five previous albums, combining Texas troubadour songwriting chops with a pop-rock flair, then selling the whole deal with that warm handshake of a voice. Exhibit A is “Perfect String”, which sounds like a Guy Clark 33 played at 45.
The remaining exhibits on this brisk 33-minute set have a line to kill for or a melody to die for, or both. “Do Not Appear Sur¬prised”, which finds Nelson and the Scrappy Jud Newcomb-led band at their hooks-aplenty best, offers, “The same air that pushed you in the door/Blew by my ear and whispered, ‘More.’”